While Liverpool’s midfield issues this season have been well documented, the Reds have had several of their Academy midfielder thriving while on loan. One of the promising youngsters, Leighton Clarkson, has made his mark playing first time football with Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League, scoring five goals and notching an assist.
With the Dons in a scrap to qualify for a Europa League spot, however, they have looked to strengthen during the January transfer window. Aberdeen added midfielders Patrik Myslovič and Graeme Shinnie on loan for the second half of the season, leading to speculation that Liverpool may recall Clarkson over concerns of playing time.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin told the Scotsman that he does not expect the 21 year old to go anywhere.
“[W]e have had constant dialogue up until last week explaining to Liverpool that we are delighted with what Leighton is doing right now. We are really pleased with the progress he is making and Liverpool have kept really close tabs on him. They are delighted with his continued development, playing week in week out in the Scottish Premiership.”
“He has been one of our better, more consistent players of the season. Leighton gives us that little creativity in the middle of the pitch. He is growing and growing from strength to strength I believe. Liverpool are delighted and are not looking to bring him back.”
“That gives us really good competition. We have five very good central midfielders now in the two new ones, [Connor] Barron, Clarkson and [Ylber] Ramadani.”
It’s great to see that both Aberdeen and Liverpool are happy with the situation. Clarkson, who has appeared in 17 of the club’s 21 SPL matches, will have to continue his high level of play to maintain his leading role. Even with that, a little more rotation will likely help him keep his legs fresher as he deals with the rigors of his first senior team season.